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The Fear of Man

By Byron J. Rees


      The Fear of man is one of the most illogical things in the world. Men sell the blood of Jesus and hope of heaven and eternal happiness because of "what people say."

      Think of it, afraid of a man who will die and be buried under ground before he rots! Frightened at a thing dressed in a long black coat and a tall hat and a frown; a thing which will stop breathing some day and the worms will eat! Shall I tremble when an ecclesiastical Leo utters a roar? Shall I halt and stammer because a top-heavy lad from a theological seminary, hopelessly in love with himself, scowls at the word "sanctification"? The folks we are afraid of, are afraid of us. What a situation! A great regiment of people marching straight down to hell, everyone afraid to break step for fear the others will laugh! That is precisely the condition of nearly every sinner.

      The ministry is sadly in need of a blessing which will give it courage to attack sin of all kinds and degrees. We need men who will rip the mask off the face of sin and pronounce God's sentence upon it; who will lift up the trap-door of the cesspools of men's hearts and bid them look within at their own sin; who will "cry aloud and spare not," though the enraged cohorts of demons snarl and shriek. There will be a day when men will curse us because we have not preached more plainly. Brethren in the ministry, let us be less anxious about the technical accuracy of our sermons and be more eager to help men live right and quit sin and go to heaven.

      There are many sins which few men have the courage to antagonize in public. Theoretically the pulpit is supposed to bombard all sin of every variety and species, but, alas, it is usually too cowardly. The Spirit-filled man fears no one. It is not that ministers are unaware of the sins within the Church, but they dare not speak openly against them. He knows only too well that if he dares assert his manhood and exercises the prerogative of Christ's minister, the consequences could be swift and terrible, the loss of the approval of men, and maybe even his pastorate. But let us be content with the approval and comfort of God rather than fear men. For the sake of the Church and the lost, GOD HELP US to forsake the fear of man.

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